Superb — and in the pink

Dianthus superbus. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Dianthus superbus. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Dianthus have long been garden favourites, with many cultivars and hybrids to choose from. The delicate, colourful blooms easily brighten up any cottage garden or container bed.

One special Dianthus that is sure to catch the eye displays delicate feathery pink petals resembling frilly pinwheels. Suitably named Dianthus superbus, the fringed pink is a superb herbaceous perennial native to Europe and Asia.

The eye-catching blooms appear from early to late summer atop grey-green stems up to 60cm high.

A sweet fragrance radiating from the blooms attracts butterflies and bees, welcome visitors to any garden.

This plant thrives in normal to dry soil, in full sun to partial shade, so displaying it is easily achievable for the home gardener.

Little to no maintenance is required if planted in a favourable spot. Plant along sunny border edges to enjoy the interesting, fringed flowers up close. Group several plants together to maximise the visual impact.

Prolonged blooming can be encouraged by removing stems with spent blooms to enjoy the flowers all summer long. Allow the short-lived plant to self-seed to ensure blooms in following years.

The sweetly scented blooms are ideal for a vase.

Cut long stems of flowers that have just opened and place in water immediately for a dazzling display.

See Dianthus superbus in bloom during the summer in the north Asian border of the geographic collection.

 - Garden Life is produced by the Dunedin Botanic Garden. For further information contact Kyla Mathewson.

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